Actress Sharon Maughan’s health battle that led her to launch own skincare line

Award-winning British actress, director, producer and entrepreneur, Sharon Maughan developed health problems in 2009 due to a reaction to salicylates, known as salicylic overload.

Salicylates are compounds found in foods, medications. In most people they don’t cause any ill side effects. But, people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylate, like Sharon, may experience symptoms including breathing problems, nasal polyps, eczema and sensitive skin.

Sharon had major surgery and was told to drastically limit her salicylate intake or risk the condition returning within six months. Salicylates’ common presence in cosmetics, food, cleaning products, perfume and more, means many others have also developed reactions.

Although Sharon’s reaction was extreme, salicylate build up can affect sufferers with a varying spectrum of severity over time, with it becoming more widely recognised by the medical profession as a problem ingredient for some consumers.

Following her struggles, since 2012 she has been on a journey to develop a line of skincare products that can help to provide the solution. Using the best natural ingredients, Sharon has developed FaceWise

Sharon said: “After years of toxic build up and worsening skin problems I finally developed a life-threatening allergy to aspirin and ibuprofen. Finally, my ENT Doctor diagnosed a salicylate overload known as Samter’s Triad.

“I had itchy, sensitive skin which got worse and more frequent until it became full blown red eczema patches on my face. I also had allergy symptoms like a sensitive nose and eyes. 

“The diagnosis led to me having sinus surgery after which I felt better and decided to adopt my new lifestyle controlling my exposure to salicylates with a low salicylate diet. Then I started looking for a low salicylate skin care as the skin is the largest organ of the body. What goes onto the skin goes into the body.”

When trying to find a low salicylate skincare option, Sharon was surprised there was not a single skincare product line marketing itself as low salicylate.

She said: “Salicylates are a cheap preservative used liberally in beauty products and household cleaning products, so we are extensively exposed to them these days. One day when talking to a friend they said, ‘why don’t you launch your own line’. That’s why I’ve made FaceWise.”

Sharon continued: “Before surgery I was very ill.  After surgery combined with my new low salicylate lifestyle, I am much better.

“I’ve learned to think about what I expose myself to. I never ever expose myself to mint for example, as it is dangerously high in salicylates. I don’t even use mint toothpaste. I never use stripping exfoliant on my skin – I would end up red raw. I am kind to my skin and my body. 

“I have always been aware of health, fitness, diets, a clear brain etc as part of my job as an actor. But this has been a new process of learning what works for my body and my skin health.”

Following her personal battle with salicylate overload, Sharon now has a heightened understanding of how to limit internal and external exposure and is passionate about helping other sufferers live a lower salicylate lifestyle.

Sharon’s desire is to present an overall education – a new way of approaching skincare, featuring kind-to-skin ingredients as alternatives to the ingredients in mainstream commercial brands that have contributed to her health problems.

Her aim is to empower skincare users to have a choice about the products they use – something she wishes she would have had.

FaceWise offers a gentle and nourishing alternative, and is suitable for all genders, all skin types and ages. The brand has launched a quad of products for those who suffer from sensitive skin, and for those seeking a gentle, ingredient-led option. This includes the Melting Cleansing Balm (£39.95), Essential Eye Cream (£18.95), Moisturising Day Cream (£19.95) and Revitalising Face Oil (£21.95) at

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